Archive for August, 2020

National Sorry Day


Written by Rich Bimler, a contemporary Christian author and former president of Wheat Ridge Ministries.

Australia has a most significant annual holiday called “National Sorry Day” to remember the wrongs that they have done. Indeed, every country should do the same! As a matter of fact, all of us as God’s forgiven people observe, not an annual day, but every day as a “Daily Sorry Day!” The wrongs we have done, the hurst we have caused, the words that should not have been spoken are to be brought to the Lord daily. As we repent, we are also forgiven of these sins through Christ’s death and resurrection. As a banner states, “Forgiveness is the name of love practiced among people who love poorly.”  So, “celebrate” every day as a day that we are forgiven, in Christ!


Written by John Chrysostom (AD 347-407), the archbishop of Constantinople and an early theologian of the church.

O Lord, accept me in penitence.

O Lord, leave me not.

O Lord, lead me not into temptation.

O Lord, grant me good thoughts.

O Lord, grant me tears and remembrance of death and compunction.

O Lord, grant me the thought of confessing my sins.

O Lord, grant me humility, chastity and obedience.

O Lord, grant me patience, courage and meekness.

O Lord, plant in me the root of all blessings, the fear of You in my heart.

O Lord, grant me to love You with all my mind and soul, and always to do Your will.

O Lord, protect me from certain people, and demons, and passions, and from every other harmful thing. O Lord, You know that You act as You will; may Your will be also in me, a sinner, for blessed art You forever. Amen.

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Humble Service


Written by Sarah Geringer, a contemporary Christian author, blogger, and speaker.

Have you ever performed a task you felt was beneath you? Jesus washed his disciples’ feet the night before he died. Though this was normally a job for the lowest of servants, it wasn’t beneath Jesus, the King of kings. Jesus directed his disciples to serve one another even in the smallest of ways. He promised blessings to those who serve in this manner. Though he stooped low enough to wash the feet of Judas, who betrayed him, he did not look back with regret.

Our small acts of service, especially the ones we’d rather avoid, will grow humility in our hearts. These acts of service will help us see others with compassion. By serving others with humility, we become more like Jesus. We won’t feel like we are stooping low with small tasks when Jesus is our example.


Written by Ignatius of Antioch (?-108), an early Christian writer and Bishop of Antioch, who was martyred in Rome.

O, All-Ruler, Word of the Father, Jesus Christ, You who are perfect, never in your great mercy leave me, but ever abide in me, your servant.  O Jesus, Good Shepherd of Your sheep, deliver me not to the revolt of the serpent and leave me not to the will of Satan, for the seed of corruption is in me. Lord, adorable God, Holy King, Jesus Christ, guard me asleep by the unwaning light, your Holy Spirit, by whom you sanctified your disciples. O Lord, grant me, your unworthy servant, your salvation on my bed. Enlighten my mind with the light of understanding of your Holy Gospel. Enlighten my soul with the love of your Cross. Enlighten my heart with the purity of your Word. Enlighten my body with your passionless Passion. Keep my thoughts in your humility. And rouse me in good time to glorify you, for you are supremely glorified, with your eternal Father, and your most Holy Spirit forever. Amen.

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Written by Christopher Klofft, a contemporary Christian author. It is an excerpt from the devotional “From Suffering to Salvation.”

Henri Nouwen wrote: “Once all of our past is remembered in gratitude, we are free to be sent into the world to proclaim good news to others. Just as Peter’s denials didn’t paralyze him but, once forgiven, became a new source of his faithfulness, so can all our failures and betrayals be transformed into gratitude and enable us to become messengers of hope.”

Our culture today suffers from an incorrect and impoverished notion of freedom. We tend to think that freedom means freedom to do whatever we want. In truth, however, freedom is found in submitting our whole selves to the will of God.  Authentic freedom gives us the capacity to see our lives in a different way. It allows us to see our past with new eyes and to see how God has been present with us, inviting us toward our final happiness. This recognition should fill us with a sense of gratitude for what we have and empower us to continue the task of evangelization.


Written by William Wilberforce (1759-1833), a British politician, philanthropist, and leader of the movement to stop the slave trade.

Almighty God, who created us in your image: Grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice in our communities and among the nations, to the glory of your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one god, now and for ever. Amen.

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Grace and Mercy


Written by Paul Scheidt, a contemporary Christian author. This is an excerpt from his publication “By His Wounds We Are Healed.”

The commandment is “Thou shall not murder [Exodus 20:13]. On the surface, it seems so simple. Most of us have never murdered anyone. There’s more to it, however. Jesus said if you are angry with someone, you are guilty. Luther said if you have harmed anyone or failed to help anyone in need, you are guilty. There is nothing we can say, no excuse or alibi to cover up our guilt. We are doomed.  Except…there is one way to satisfy God’s judgment. Jesus has done what we cannot do: He kept this commandment perfectly, even dying in love for the worst of sinners. His perfect life and sacrificial wounds cover our sins with life-giving grace and mercy. What a gift!  Accept his gracious gift and honor him with hymns of grateful praise. Honor him, too, by loving (that means helping, not harming) others as Christ has loved us. Keep your eyes open today for a target for your love.


Written by Brigid of Kildare (451-525), one of Ireland’s patron saints, a nun and foundress of several monasteries of nuns.

I arise today through a mighty strength:

God’s power to guide me,

God’s might to uphold me,

God’s eyes to watch over me;

God’s ear to hear me,

God’s word to give me speech,

God’s hand to guard me,

God’s way to lie before me,

God’s shield to shelter me, God’s host to secure me.  Amen.

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Written by John Ortberg, a contemporary pastor and author.  This is an excerpt from his book “If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat.”

As a result of seeing the wind and giving in to fear, Peter began to sink into the water. So here is the question: Did Peter fail? Failure is not an event, but rather a judgment about an event. Failure is not something that happens to us or a label we attach to things. It is a way we think about outcomes.  Before Jonas Salk developed a vaccine for polio that finally worked, he tried 200 unsuccessful ones. Somebody asked him, “How did it feel to fail 200 times?” Salk replay, “I never failed 200 times in my life. I was taught not to use the word ‘failure.’ I just discovered 200 ways how not to vaccinate for polio.” Was Jonas Salk a failure?  Did Peter fail? 

Well, I suppose in a way he did. His faith wasn’t strong enough. His doubts were stronger. He took his eyes off of where they should have been. He sank. He failed. But I think there were 11 bigger failures sitting in the boat. They failed quietly. They failed privately. Their failure went unnoticed, unobserved, uncriticized. Only Peter knew the shame of public failure. But only Peter knew two other things as well. Only Peter knew the glory of walking on water. He alone knew what it was to attempt to do what he was not capable of doing on his own, then feeling the euphoria of being empowered by God to actually do it. Once you walk on water, you never forget it—not for the rest of your life. I think Peter carried that joyous moment with him to his grave.  And only Peter knew the glory of being lifted up by Jesus in a moment of desperate need. Peter knew, in a way the others could not, that when he sank, Jesus would be wholly adequate to save him. He had a shared moment, a shared connection, a shared trust in Jesus that none of the others had. They couldn’t, because they didn’t even get out of the boat.


Written by William Barclay (1907-1978), a Scottish author, radio and television presenter, professor of Divinity, and minister in the Church of Scotland.

God, keep us and strengthen us by your grace that no disobedience and no weakness and no failure may stop us from entering into the blessedness which awaits those who are faithful in all the changes and the chances of life down even to the gates of death; Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen.

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Defining God


Written by Beth Moore, contemporary Christian speaker and author.  This is an excerpt from her book “Believing God.”

All human attempts to define God cannot help but minimize Him. We somehow want to neatly package God and make everything about Him explainable. We decide that what’s not explainable is not plausible. We try to make God behave and fit into our textbooks. We want Him to call down and not be so … God-ish. We decide we will only believe what we can humanly reconcile. Our pride and desperation to feel smart has made us unwilling to give the only human answer that exists to some theological questions: “I do not know. But I know that what He says is true even when I can’t explain it or reconcile it with what has happened.”

All attempts to take away the mystery and wonder that surround God leave Him something He is not. We cannot tame the Lion of Judah. There is a mystery, a wonder, and, yes, even a wildness about God we cannot take from Him. Nor would we want to if we could grasp the adventure of Him. If we can come up with a God we can fully explain, we have come up with a different God from the Bible’s. We must beware of recreating an image of God that makes us feel better. If in our pursuit of greater knowledge God seems to have gotten smaller, we have been deceived. I don’t care how intelligent the deceiver seems or how well-meaning and sincere his or her doctrine. We are wise to ask ourselves the question: Who do I say God is? Great wisdom is found in having the courage to take an inventory of how we have developed our present perceptions of God and how Biblically accurate they are.


Written by Karen Moore, a contemporary author of books, poetry, and prayer.

Lord, for all those who don’t yet know Your mighty and powerful love, please help them find you. Pour out your mercy on their hearts and kindle the flame of faith in a new and passionate way into their spirits. As they walk toward You, Lord even a little bit, run toward them as the Father did in the story of the Prodigal son and bring them back home again to celebrate in great joy. May your light shine on in their hearts and minds forever. Amen.

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Be Transformed


Written by Max Lucado, a contemporary pastor and Christian author.  This is an excerpt from his book “Just Like Jesus.”

There was a lady who had a small house on the seashore of Ireland at the turn of the 20th century. She was quite wealthy but also quite frugal. The people were surprised, then, when she decided to be among the first to have electricity in her home. Several weeks after the installation, a meter reader appeared at her door. He asked if her electricity was working well, and she assured him it was. “I’m wondering if you can explain something to me,” he said. “Your meter shows scarcely any usage. Are you using your power?”  “Certainly,” she answered. “Each evening when the sun sets, I turn on my lights just long enough to light my candles, then I turn them off.”

She’s tapped into the power but doesn’t use it. Her house is connected but not altered. Don’t we make the same mistake? We, too—with our souls saved but our hearts unchanged—are connected but not altered. Trusting Christ for salvation but resisting transformation. We occasionally flip the switch, but most of the time we settle for shadows. What would happen if we left the light on? What would happen if we not only flipped the switch but lived in the light? What changes would occur if we set about the task of dwelling in the radiance of Christ?

No doubt about it, God has ambitious plans of us. The same one who saved your soul longs to remake your heart. His plan is nothing short of a total transformation. God is willing to change us into the likeness of the Savior. Shall we accept his offer? Let’s fix our eyes on Jesus. Perhaps in seeing him, we will see what we can become.


Written by Jerome (347-420), a Latin Catholic priest, confessor, theologian, and historian.  He translated most of the Bible into Latin.

O, Lord, show your mercy to me and gladden my heart. I am like the man on the way to Jericho who was overtaken by robbers, wounded, and left for dead. O, Good Samaritan, come to my aid. I am like the sheep that went astray. O, Good Shepherd, seek me out and bring me home in accord with Your will. Let me dwell in Your house all the days of my life and praise You forever and ever with those who are there. Amen.

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Written by Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892), an English Baptist preacher, known as the “Prince of Preachers.”

Observe how the apostle puts it. Does he say “forgiving another”? No, that is not the text, if you look at it. It is “forgiving one another.” One another! Ah, then that means that if you have to forgive today, it is very likely that you will yourself need to be forgiven tomorrow, for it is “forgiving one another.” It is a mutual operation, a cooperative service. You forgive me, and I forgive you, and we forgive them, and they forgive us, and so a circle of unlimited forbearance and love goes around the world.  There is something wrong about me that needs to be forgiven by my brother, but there is also something wrong about my brother that needs to be forgiven by me, and this is what the apostle means – that we are all mutually to be exercising the sacred art and mystery of forgiving one another. If we always did this, we should not endure those who have a special faculty for spying out faults.

You may know very well what a man is by what he says of others. It is a gauge of character that very seldom will deceive you, to judge other men by their own judgment of their fellows. Their speech betrays their heart. Show me your tongue. He who speaks with an ill tongue about his neighbor has an ill heart; rest assured of that. We shall have a great deal to forgive in other people, but there will be a great deal more to be forgiven in ourselves.


This prayer is based on the Benedictine Peace Prayer.  Benedict of Nursia (c480-547) founded 12 communities for monks in Italy and is considered by some as the founder of Western Christian monasticism.

God, help us to be peacemakers – peace in our hearts, peace in our homes, peace in our sorely troubled world. Aid us to work for peace to take the first step in ending bitterness, to be the first to hold our hands in friendship and forgiveness. Let peace permeate our lives, Oh God, so that we may live In Your grace and love. Amen.

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Written by Philip Yancey, a contemporary Christian author. This is an excerpt from his book “Discovering God.”

Even Jesus’ closest disciples had trouble swallowing his teaching that money represents grave danger. Yet Jesus sternly warned that wealth can keep people from the kingdom of God by tempting them to depend on themselves rather than on God. Not only wealth, but any form of pride or self-dependence tends to lead away from God.  An effort to become “holy,” for example, may accomplish just the opposite if it results in spiritual pride and a feeling of superiority. Human beings have an incurable tendency to feed their own egos, to take credit, to compete. The way to God, said Jesus, is just the opposite: Trust God like a little child, admit wrong, let go.


A Puritan prayer from the book “The Valley of Vision.”

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,

Let me learn by paradox

     that the way down is the way up,

     that to be low is to be high,

     that the broken heart is the healed heart,

     that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,

     that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,

     that to have nothing is to possess all,

     that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,

     that to give is to receive,

     that the valley is the place of vision.

Let me find thy light in my darkness,

     thy life in my death,

     thy joy in my sorrow,

     thy grace in my sin,

     thy riches in my poverty

     thy glory in my valley.

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Excerpted from the “Renewing Hope” Bible study produced by Gospel Light.

Sin is not a popular concept in today’s society—even among those who call themselves Christians. It is so much easier to soft-soap our disobedience, calling it a mistake or a human weakness, than to call it what it really is: an affront against a just and holy God. Yet until we reach the point where we are willing to call sin, sin, there is no hope for forgiveness. No matter how distasteful confession may seem, confession is the only pathway to a restored relationship with God.

For many of us, confession brings up images of groveling and humiliation, being demeaned and shamed because we did not measure up to the unrealistic expectations of others. Confession brings up images of admitting wrong, or feeling like a failure because we didn’t measure up to the world’s yardstick. But true confession is none of those things.

Simply put, confession is agreeing with God. Rather than soft soaping sin and calling God a liar, we tell Him that He was right and we were wrong. Our Father really did know best! Daily confession is an integral part of a right relationship with God. Only when we have admitted our sins, which separate us from a just and holy God, can we once again be restored to an unbroken fellowship with the source of all goodness and blessing. Confession is not humiliation! It is part of the spiritual discipline of taking proper care of ourselves.


From “The Book of Common Prayer,” first published in 1549 and undergone numerous updates, it serves as a book of prayer for Anglican churches. It serves as a basis for prayer books for other Protestant denominations as well.

Merciful God,

we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed,

by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.

We have not loved you with our whole heart and mind and strength.

We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.

In your mercy forgive what we have been,

help us amend what we are, and direct what we shall be,

so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways,

to the glory of your holy name. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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